Today’s guest picture comes from Canonbie friend Simon. He took to the northern English fells yesterday and came across this handsome beck near High Cup Nick.
Simon was lucky that he went on his walk yesterday because there was a change in the weather today and the hills and towns in our area were covered in low cloud and rain. Langholm was no exception and there was no temptation to think of a cycle or a walk in the morning.
I did look out of the window and saw a pack of goldfinches on the feeder…
…and a blue tit practising its hard stare.
When the rain eased to a light drizzle, I popped out into the garden to see how the flowers were doing.
Another of Angie’s Michaelmas daisies has joined in the fun and some old favourites are hanging on.
The rosemary continues to be covered in its tiny flowers, which is highly unseasonal, but most of the nerines have gone to berries, though one is still looking cheery.
We took the opportunity to repair Mrs Tootlepedal’s petrol driven rotavator. A little plastic dome, which needs to be squished to prime the carburettor, had split but she had managed to source a replacement. It turned out to be more simple to fit that we had feared, and Mrs Tootlepedal hopes to put the rotavator to use on her drive works as soon as the weather permits.
I made some lentil and carrot soup for lunch, and it went down well with bread and cheese. I recently made an online purchase of seven different cheeses from a cheese specialist in Glasgow so we are spoiled for choice when it comes to cheese eating.
Looking at the forecast, it seemed that there might be a window of opportunity for a walk without too much rain after lunch. The forecasters were spot on, and it had stopped raining by the time that I put my coat and cap on and set out to test my new waterproof socks by walking along some muddy tracks.
Jackdaws pair for life and this couple on a wire outside our house looked deep in conversation.
As I crossed the suspension bridge, I saw that the willows are still adding colour to riverside views near the church….
…but there was not much to see as I walked down the far bank of the river.
I cut up through Townfoot and walked up Hallpath, where the wall had a selection of St John’s Wort and peltigera lichen to keep me happy.
At one point the road runs between a fine beech hedge and a tall wall. I liked the contrast.
When I got to the muddy track, my socks passed the test of many puddles with flying colours and there were other colours to enjoy as well….
…with the most surprising being some flowers on a broom. They are not what you would expect at this time of year at all.
I walked along through the birch and oak woods…
…until I came to the open hill….
I might have walked on to Broomholmshiels but the way back to Langholm along the riverside road is temporarily blocked, so I turned back the way I came, making a small diversion down through the woods…
…to the old railway and then back up again by the Jenny Noble’s Gill track.
This short up and down proved to more strenuous than I had expected so I stopped stopping to take pictures, except this one where a lone tree had sneaked in among the oaks and birches thanks to gap made for power lines.
Mainly I concentrated on walking without slipping over and got safely down to the road at Skippers Bridge. Although it wasn’t raining, the mist was rising and the bridge looked so grey that I took a black and white picture of it for a change.
I walked back along the road just to check that the road really was closed by roadworks, and found that it was.
In a welcome change to their policy of leaving roads to fall down bankings and then waiting as long as possible before repairing them, the council are fixing this unstable bank before it collapses.
I walked back to Skippers, enjoying the layers of colour provided by a beech tree beside the road…
…and paused for a moment on the bridge to look back down river, where I could see the reason that I had had difficulty in seeing the bridge clearly…
…and then up river to catch the old distillery looking rather romantic in the Gothic gloom.
(The old distillery is in the process of becoming a showroom for a local maker of high quality furniture and if you are interested in that sort of thing, you can visit him here.)
I walked back along the Murtholm and took a final picture of a colourful carpet as I went through the park.
It was very gloomy by now, so I was glad to have got home in the dry.
I had time for a cup of tea and a slice of bread and freshly made raspberry jam before the Carlisle Community Choir virtual rehearsal. Rather optimistically, our musical director has got out some Christmas music for us, but it was quite cheerful to be singing of bells and holly on such a dreary day even if the choir won’t meet to sing such songs together this year..
We had trout for tea and are hoping for better weather tomorrow.
The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch. It is sneaking up on another pair who are too busy arguing to notice it.